Learn about Hilton Head, South Carolina,
by reading Head for Hilton Head by Charlie Spence, Travel Writer. It
features a mini, but thorough tour of the destination, plus all
you'll need to know to plan your trip including getting there,
objective information on places to stay and eat, and things to do.
At the end of the article, we've provided a summary of the contact
information for your easy reference. Enjoy!
Head for Hilton Head
by Charlie Spence, Travel Writer and
A picturesque path to the beach.
Photo courtesy of the Hilton Head Island Visitor &
If you think of Hilton Head Island as just
12 miles of beautiful Atlantic Ocean beaches youíre missing much of
what can be found at one of the most famous vacation areas in
America. This fascinating community on South Carolinaís eastern
shore offers something for everyone from a charming place to hold a
wedding or honeymoon to fun activities for children, outdoor
adventures for adults, or just a peaceful, quiet setting for
Youíll notice something special about the
area once you arrive. Buildings are set back from the main roads.
This gives an opportunity to enjoy the native pines and oaks and
helps to give the community its serene and uncrowded appearance.
Also, there are no bright, gaudy colors on the structures. Subdued
tones blend with the natural environment.
About two and a half million visitors come
here every year. With this many persons enjoying the place there is
a variety of accommodations ranging from inexpensive motels to
luxurious resorts and beachfront villas with private swimming pools
and tennis courts. Or, stay in a quaint bed and breakfast in the
heart of town. There are more than 6,000 villas, 3,000 hotel/motel
rooms, and 1,000 time-share units.
Warmed by the Gulf Stream, Hilton Headís
average daytime temperature is 70º F and the ocean temperature
averages 69º F. The island encompasses 42 square miles, about the
same size as the city of San Francisco.
But, letís start enjoying some of the
Islandís attractions. For real enjoyment of the area letís go bike
riding over the 50 miles of bicycle trails or ride on the hard
packed sand of the beach when the tide's out. Perhaps you would
prefer not to use all that energy peddling, so letís take a guided
horseback riding tour. For ages eight and up, these adventures offer
western style rides through the 600-acre Sea Pines Forest Preserve.
If water sports are more to your liking,
stretch out on a part of the 12 miles of beach (much of it has
public access), and if you donít mind getting that bikini or swim
shorts wet, let those waves rejuvenate that weary body.
Local businesses know what visitors want
and they offer a variety of activities. A charter boat will take you
out for some deep-sea fishing. Or, take another and stand along the
rail as you scan the waters for dolphin fins. Maybe you would prefer
skimming across the waves in a sailboat. If you are more
adventurous, take a canoe or kayak and explore the creeks and
inlets. Some trips include overnight, adding to the experience you
will never forget. If you have time there are other activities to
attract and please you. Try scuba diving, parasailing, or
There are 25 golf courses on the Island
(five are private) and 40 in the nearby low country. Tennis players
will find 300 courts (8 are available for resort play).
Soak up a lot of culture at the arts
center or visit some of the historic sites. In the early 1500s, the
Island was "discovered" by the Spanish on their way to want became
Florida, but was not settled until the late 1600s-early 1700s. It
was not until 1955 that the first vacation cottages were built.
Visit the Shell Ring sites that date from the Woodland Indians.
Visit the Harbor Town Lighthouse or the nearby Daufuskie Islandís
two range lighthouses, which were built in 1863. Local tour
operators can take you around the Island and surrounding interesting
places and explain much about the history of the area.
The kids can find a lot to do also. Many
of the resorts have special activities for children to keep them
entertained all day. (Some also have expert staffs to mind the
youngsters while their parents take time out for their own
pleasures.) The Bristol Sports Arena has a skating park with ramps
for skateboarding. Putt-putt miniature golf courses let the young
emulate the master golfers who have played the regulation courses.
(It was here that Arnold Palmer ended his winless streak in 1969 by
winning the Sea Pines Resortís Heritage Classic.) Adventure Cove is
an entertainment center with batting cages, parachute simulator,
laser tag, bumper cars, an extensive arcade, 4D movie theater, and
other options to please the youngsters.
Of course you will want to do some
shopping and there are more than 200 shops on the Island from
elegant boutiques and art galleries to outlet and indoor malls with
department stores and specialty shops. For a personal souvenir of
your visit, go to the Art Café where you can select and paint your
There are abundant activities in nearby
locations. For a fascinating day, take the boat from Hilton Head to
Savannah, Georgia. The trip over and back is fun with much to see
and your time in Savannah can be making discoveries right at the
waterside area or exploring this town with its southern charm.
Once you visit this Island you will see
why it is so popular that it has more than 39,000 permanent
residents. Some are retired families who long ago discovered the
attraction of this place. Something you will certainly do once you
head for Hilton Head.
How to Get There
The Hilton Head airport, only three miles
from the city, is served by two commuter airlines. Nine airlines
serve the international airport at Savannah, Georgia. Rail service
is available to Savannah. If you plan to drive, follow I-95, take
exit 8, which is eight miles north of the Georgia border. Go east
and follow the signs for Hilton Head.
Where to Stay
Because Hilton Head has so many visitors
you can be assured the available accommodations are both numerous
and varied. There are hotels and inns, resorts, spa resorts,
time-share, vacation homes and villa rentals. We can find just the
place to meet your comfort, price and convenience to areas of
interest to you.
You may also book your accommodations and
rental car at
WTAís Online Travel Booking Service
Deep discounts may be available.
Where to Dine
There are more than 250 restaurants on
Hilton Head Island where you can find everything from fast-food to
gourmet dining. You will find major ethnic cuisine. Be sure to enjoy
the local seafood and some of the southern-style fare. A few of the
places you might want to enjoy are:
Notice: This information is current as
of May 2008. It is recommended that you contact the numbers, and/or
visit the websites above to determine any changes to the